Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Active vs. Passive Entertainment


by Sybil Johnson

I was in the Seattle area last week visiting family. While I was there we went to see Disney On Ice and visited a cat cafe. That got me to thinking about active versus passive entertainment.

Let’s start with the cat cafe. For those of you not familiar with one, a cat cafe is where you can drink coffee/tea/hot chocolate and play with cats who are either permanent residents or are up for adoption. I believe they’re very popular in Japan. We found three in the Seattle-Tacoma area. We settled on one called Catffeinated in Tacoma. I mean, how could we pass that name up?

It was quite fun. The hot chocolate I had was good. My sister said the coffee was good. (I don’t drink coffee. I know, I know. How can I be of Scandinavian descent and from Seattle and not?) We had an hour to play with the cats. I consider that active entertainment.

 Here are a couple of the cats we interacted with. The orange one is a permanent resident. The other is being adopted.

Disney On Ice had a lot of kids in attendance, as you might expect. It was fun, but I noticed they spent a fair amount of time trying to get people actively engaged before the skating started. Honestly, with events like this, I’m more into the passive entertainment stuff. I do realize, though, with that many kids in attendance it was good to let the kids blow off some steam.

I’ve had an annual pass to Disneyland for over twenty years. Okay, now they’re called Magic Key passes. Whatever, it’s the same thing. I’ve noticed in that time that Disneyland/California Adventure has moved more and more toward encouraging active participation by its guests. There are “character experiences” at various places throughout the parks like the Avengers Campus and in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Some of the newer rides are more interactive. The Web Slingers ride has you actively slinging webs as you ride along. The Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run ride is an interactive attraction where guests work together during a “smuggling” mission.

Me? I much prefer the more passive rides like Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World. The classic rides. Maybe because I’m a “classic” myself.

That got me to thinking about books and television/films. Both are fine. Reading a book is active entertainment. The reader has to imagine the scene in their mind and fill in the details that aren’t on the page. Television/films is more passive. Those visuals are supplied by those who put the programs together. The one exception I’d probably say is silent films. I’ve watched a number of them over the last ten years since there’s a silent movie theater not far from where I live. I find, when I watch those, that I fill in dialogue of what’s going on the screen in-between the title cards. I feel like I'm more actively engaged with a silent film than one with sound.

What about you all? Do you like more active or passive entertainment or a mix?


Charlotte Hinger said...

How in the world did you get an annual pass to Disney. That sounds wonderful.

Sybil Johnson said...

Just paid money. I live in a zip code where I can buy the cheapest pass. I enjoy going to Disneyland and California Adventure throughout the year.